Chief Operating Officer

Please Note: The application deadline for this job has now passed.

Job Introduction

The BBC has engaged Egon Zehnder to lead the recruitment process to find our new Chief Operating Officer. The application deadline is 2nd October 2020. To find out more, please see the attached candidate brief for application instructions, or contact Egon Zehnder via email at / Tel 0207 943 1943, quoting the reference BBC COO.

The BBC has always been at the forefront of change in the media industry, but today it faces a unique set of challenges in a fast-moving and increasingly competitive media ecosystem. The new Director-General Tim Davie is establishing a change agenda. As part of this he is looking to run the corporation in a different way, through a smaller Executive team, which has led to the creation of the Chief Operating Officer role.

The COO is responsible for leading a number of critical BBC functions; overseeing Design + Engineering and the development and delivery of the BBC’s digital and broadcast systems, products and services and leading Finance, Legal, Commercial Rights & Business Affairs, Quality, Risk and Assurance and Procurement.

This role will play a key part on the BBC’s transformation, taking the lead on organisational changes that will make the BBC as efficient and dynamic as possible. As well as establishing the right structures systems and processes that enable this, the COO will play a key part in driving changes in culture and behaviours that provide the foundation for the BBC’s continued existence as a national institution that is world class.

The role will report to the Director-General and will sit on the Executive Committee

Role Responsibility

Organisational and Operational Leadership

Overall responsibility for BBC Finance, Legal, Quality, Risk and Assurance, Procurement, Design and Engineering, Safety, Security and Risk, and Commercial Rights & Business Affairs.

Create an environment which attracts the best commercial and creative talent and enables them to deliver their best work.

Develop an organisation that’s simple, with minimal management layers and clear accountabilities.

Drive initiatives to deliver greater efficiency, continued cost reduction and improved productivity across the BBC to enable the majority of BBC budget to be spent on content and services for audiences.

Drive an efficient, flexible and ever-evolving operation where all functions, services and business support teams are high-performing.

Overall responsibility to ensure that all Health and Safety procedures are in place, actively understood by all staff and being followed and regularly improved.

Transformational Leadership

Oversee the development of the next generation of BBC technology platforms and products, creating a technology roadmap that meets and anticipates the BBC audiences’ behaviours and ambitions.

Ensure that the strategy for products, technology and systems are prioritised and implemented by the BBC's Design + Engineering function.

With the DG and other key members of the leadership team, help to evolve the BBC’s culture and behaviours in a way that makes it the most attractive employer for the best on- and off-screen talent in the UK

Financial and Commercial Excellence

Manage financial and operational risk to ensure the long term security of the organisation.

To provide financial guidance to the Executive Committee and ensure that the BBC meets all financial commitments and is legally compliant.

Develop the necessary policies and procedures to ensure sound financial management and controls are in place and operating effectively.

Oversee the delivery of agreed creative and financial performance objectives including the budget process. Ensure all interval controls are robust and fit for purpose.

To lead the BBC’s commercial strategy and negotiations for the BBC as a whole, working closely with BBC Studios and Commercial Holdings.

Ensure robust commercial frameworks are in place and complex legal issues are managed efficiently.

The Ideal Candidate

The right candidate is likely to have experience in;

Proven multi-functional leader of a consumer-facing business at scale

Led organisational transformation

Has had oversight of finance function

Experience of leveraging technology to transform consumer experience

Desirable experience would include;

Financially qualified

Experience within a media organisation

As a leader, the successful candidate will demonstrate the following;

People Leadership

  • Able to guide, facilitate and empower very different functional teams
  • Builds and sustains an environment where creativity/innovation thrives; inspires people to take new approaches
  • Proven ability to attract, retain and develop world class talent; builds a shared sense of purpose that inspires employees to continuously learn and grow
  • Unquestioned ethics: an authentic, values-based leader who drives a fair and respectful culture
  • Empowers teams to identify and solve problems and creates a clear sense of identity among employees

Collaboration & Influencing

  • Builds and maintains strong relationships at all levels; able to win hearts and minds and build a common purpose across the organisation and within affiliated companies
  • Works through a distributed leadership model; can break down silos within the organisation and increase collaboration across business lines
  • Challenges the business to think differently, aligning the organisation through its people
  • Demonstrates presence and gravitas; understands how to solidify and enhance visibility with all stakeholders
  • Openly addresses global trends in the media industry, proactively seeks out opportunities to use new technologies and encourages others to do the same

Driving Change

  • Drives coordinated change across a complex organisation
  • Establishes an organisational culture in which people embrace the notion of continuous change
  • Aligns organisation structures/processes/systems with desired culture and behaviours (and vice-versa)
  • Engages the motives, values, and goals of multiple stakeholder groups across a diverse organisation of substantial size/complexity; builds coalitions across the business to enable transformation

Delivering Results

  • Brings in or creates new solutions, business opportunities or methods which can be measured by significant financial or process improvement impact to the business
  • Implements tested world-class or best-in-class standards
  • Creates better ways of doing things to achieve higher levels of performance

Package Description

Band: Exec Level
Contract type: Permanent
Location: Can be based in any of the UK's main bases, but will require substantial time in London, travel around the UK and occasional international travel

About the Company

The British Broadcasting Corporation is the world’s leading public service broadcaster and occupies a special place in the cultural life of the UK. It’s mission is defined by Royal Charter: to act in the public interest, serving all audiences through the provision of impartial, high-quality and distinctive output and services which inform, educate and entertain.

The BBC is funded largely by the licence fee, which is supplemented by revenue from the BBC’s commercial operations. It seeks to deliver distinctive content that fulfils its public purposes and it does this through award-winning television, radio, news and online services that cater to all audiences, in the UK and globally

We don’t focus simply on what we do – we also care how we do it. Our values and the way we behave are important to us. Please make sure you’ve read about our values and behaviours in the document attached below.

Diversity matters at the BBC. We have a working environment where we value and respect every individual's unique contribution, enabling all of our employees to thrive and achieve their full potential.

We want to attract the broadest range of talented people to be part of the BBC – whether that’s to contribute to our programming or our wide range of non-production roles. The more diverse our workforce, the better able we are to respond to and reflect our audiences in all their diversity. 

We are committed to equality of opportunity and welcome applications from individuals, regardless of age, gender, ethnicity, disability, sexual orientation, gender identity, socio-economic background, religion and/or belief. We will consider flexible working requests for all roles, unless operational requirements prevent otherwise.

To find out more about Diversity and Inclusion at the BBC, please click here

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